A new coalition of small business groups launched a campaign for stricter US antitrust regulations on Tuesday, notably calling for a collapse of Amazon’s online titanium trade. A small group of companies includes the American Booksellers Association, the National Food Association, and many local and regional business associations. The coalition’s website says its goal is “to prevent technology monopolies like Amazon from locking up online markets by breaking into and regulating online markets”.
The move comes amid an escalating backlash against big tech companies that dominate major sectors of the economy and whose influence has grown during the pandemic. The new small business group said it supports the conclusions of a recent US Congressional report that highlighted the power of technology platforms and called for stricter antitrust enforcement and new laws to facilitate the downsizing of some businesses.
“By restoring competitive markets, we can unlock the potential of Americans to build successful businesses and build economies that are more prosperous, fairer, and more innovative,” the group said.
He specifically called Amazon and said that “the choking of online commerce is one of the biggest threats to independent businesses”.
The group said a Congressional investigation revealed that Amazon had used its powers as a gatekeeper to online shopping traffic to charge excessive fees, impose oppressive requirements, and extract valuable data from independent manufacturers and retailers who depend on its platform.
Amazon denied allegations that it stifles competition, arguing in a statement that “narcissistic critics are encouraging bogus free market interventions that will kill independent retailers and punish consumers”.
A company statement in response to an AFP investigation said, “Amazon has enabled small and medium-sized businesses to reach hundreds of billions of dollars in sales over the past year, and their sales have grown significantly faster than Amazon’s first-party sales.”